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Recovery blog

Take Time to Slow Down

By: Erin Birely, LCPC, Team Leader at The Renfrew Center of Baltimore

Posted on August 26, 2019

As I walked into a Michael's craft store this weekend, I was surprised to see fall and Halloween decorations out, and some already on sale! It feels like as a society, we're rarely mindful and we have stopped living in the moment. By constantly looking towards what's next, I worry about how that impacts our emotional experiences and our ability to tolerate those emotions.

Most of us have likely heard of mindfulness in one setting or another, as the concept has gained popularity in recent years. In treatment, mindfulness can be a helpful skill in slowing down our emotional experiences and really noticing what our mind and body are trying to tell us. Tolerating and understanding emotions is hard to do if we can't slow down and be aware enough to name what it is we're feeling.

As pumpkin spice lattes will soon return and Black Friday sale flyers will be sent out, how do we take time to slow down? Start by finding a way to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine. Try recognizing your emotional experience each time you stop at a red light, brush your hair or get in your car. In doing so, you'll notice increased awareness of your emotions, which will hopefully help you to better tolerate and understand how you feel. By being more present, we can enjoy our last month of summer, instead of already feeling stressed about September.

Erin Birely, LCPC, is the Team Leader at The Renfrew Center of Baltimore. Prior to joining Renfrew in 2016, she had worked in private practice as well as inpatient, partial and intensive outpatient levels of care. Ms. Birely has worked in the field of eating disorder treatment since receiving her Master's degree in 2012. She enjoys working with people to make positive and long lasting changes in life through therapy and building their emotional tolerance. In her free time, Ms. Birely enjoys spending time with friends and family, as well as working on home improvement projects.
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